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Our Big Catch

you're welcome Captain!

sunny

Neither of us got much sleep on the bus to Tumbes and we stumbled off, bleary eyed at about 6am. We were then confronted with two options, we either wait a couple of hours for a bus direct from Tumbes to Guayaquil in Ecuador or we get a taxi to the border and get an earlier bus to Guayaquil from there. As we were now awake and eager to make up for time lost in Chiclayo we decided to take the cab. After about an hour or so of bureaucracy we were on a bus on our way to Guayaquil, a city in the south of Ecuador. This journey took about five hours and as both of us were eager to get to the beach we decided to jump straight on another bus. This next journey took another five hours or so and music at a ridiculous volume was blaring the whole time, needless to say we felt a tad zombie like when we arrived in the small, seaside town of Puerto Lopez.

We walked down to the sea front and attempted to find a hotel with a view but were disappointed when it was more expensive then we'd been expecting. People had been telling us Ecuador was cheap but so far this didn't seem to be the case, not when they wanted $30 (the US Dollar is the official currency in Ecuador) for a room. As we continued our search we were approached by a guy who spoke English and he directed us to a nice place, which although away from the sea was pretty and all of the rooms facing in on a flower filled courtyard. After settling in all we wanted to do was get some dinner and go to bed, so we quickly went up to the market for some cheap fish before calling it a day.

Unfortunately for us it was not a very good nights sleep at all. We had a pathetic excuse for a fan which circulated a pitiful amount of air, certainly not enough to penetrate our mosquito net which was ill-fitting and seemed to have holes in it as we were still getting bitten. Our sleep was therefore fitful as we sweated buckets and were awoken by furious nipping. In the morning we struggled to pull ourselves out of bed, in fact the whole day was pretty lackadaisical.

Puerto Lopez is a nice enough little place but it was described in the guide book as a sleepy fishing village and so we imagined there to be very little tourism. In reality, although it is quieter than some other beach side destinations, it does seem to have found itself on to the gringo trail. One of the things we wanted to do during our visit was go on a boat trip. The English speaking Ecuadorian man from the previous day had managed to get in a quick mention about the different options. The first was to take a trip to Isla del Plata which sounded very similar to our visit to the Ballestas Islands in Peru. The second was to go to Isla Salanga and enroute do some fishing and snorkelling. The Salanga trip was cheaper and sounded a little more interesting, plus Adam was dying to do some sea fishing. So we arranged this on our first day in Puerto Lopez, buying it from a man with only one hand which made him look a bit like a pirate, it seemed fitting.

The following morning after yet another bad nights sleep in our sweat box we went down to catch our boat. We weren't sure how many people would be going on the trip with us and were pleasantly surprised when we found out we had the option for it to be just the two of us, which we jumped at. We were introduced to our captain, who went to bring the boat closer to shore and then we waded out before heading off south down the coast.
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After watching some massive waves crashing against some rocks we went out in to deeper water and were handed a couple of rods.
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Apart from the little spot of parana fishing we did in Bolivia, I had zero angling experience and had never even held a rod.Adam had more experience and both he and the captain showed me what to do, so after getting to grips with how to let the line out and reel it back in we dropped our hook and bate into the blue and sent it down to pretty much the bottom. At the beginning it was quite hard to tell whether we had caught anything or if it was just the hook getting caught of the sea bed. While we were still getting to grips with it the Captain was catching his fair share. Soon enough though we both got one and it was really quite a thrill to pull a decent sized fish out of the ocean like that. My first one we decided to throw back but it seemed to be shocked or stunned because it just floated on the top of the water and in the end a bird swooped down and had a spot of lunch courtesy of me.
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We caught several more fish before we set off towards the island. When we were a little way off shore Captain shut off the engine and lowered the anchor. He then handed us some snorkelling gear and pointed us over towards the rocks and said the best fish were over there. When we got in the water we realised there was a pretty strong current and we watched as the waves hit the rocks. We both quickly came to the conclusion that the best fish might be awaiting us over there but so was imminent death or some kind of mutilation. For this reason we just snorkelled near the boat for a while. Unfortunately the water was too deep to really see much but we did some bright blue fish. I couldn't help thinking at any moment we were going to see a big dorsal fin which kinda took the edge off.

After snorkelling we joined a few other boats anchored just off the beach at Isla Salanga and jumped over board to swim to shore. We tried to swim for a bit but the waves bashed us into the sharp shells and stones at our feet so we scrambled out and lay on the sand for a while. Soon enough though the captain was waving us back to the boat and so off we swam again. Back on the mainland we watched as what appeared to be the captains wife eagerly collect our catch, we hoped our labours were tasty, we wouldn't have minded sampling them! We quickly forgot this though as we had a lovely Ceviche for lunch, probably the nicest style so far with meaty fish in a lemon juice soup. We then spent the rest of the day relaxing, we would be moving north up the coast in the morning.

More Soon,

Laura & Adam

Posted by LauHot10 14:56 Archived in Ecuador Tagged round_the_world

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